SILVER is a precious metal and one The Observatory hotel is a proud holder of as runner-up in the 2012 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards for deluxe accommodation.
It is the first time a Port Macquarie hotel has been awarded a medal in the annual national industry awards.
The ceremony took place in Hobart on Friday night when more than 850 industry leaders and operators from across the nation attended the glamorous black tie celebration of the highest achievements of Australian tourism businesses for the announcement of the winners.
The Observatory was up against seven other of the best hotels from all states, the ACT and Northern Territory.
It was pipped only by Emaroo, Port Hughes on South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula.
Owners Chris and Trish Denny couldn’t be happier, although they had gone to the event with no expectations.
“State is tough and national is impossible,” Mrs Denny said.
“We weren’t nervous, I was just pleased to see the kids and have a nice night with family and friends.”
The Denny’s son Jason from Melbourne and daughter Kerina from Brisbane, travelled to be with their parents for the gala night.
Regional Development Australia Mid North Coast executive officer Peter Tregilgas, Anne Hywood, Mr Denny’s sister Margaret Chant, hotel general manager Tracey Beresford and marketing manager Kylie King shared the happy occasion.
When they didn’t place in the Qantas Award for Excellence in Sustainable Tourism category, in which they were also a finalist, Mrs Denny said her husband’s reaction was,”oh well, that’s it”.
“We thought we didn’t have a chance. The deluxe is always such a hard category,” she said.
“So when we were announced as winners of the silver we were really so thrilled.”
Mrs Denny said it will be a great morale booster for everyone.
“It’s very encouraging and means a lot.”
She said Ms King will certainly incorporate the win in marketing the hotel and it will more recognition to Port Macquarie.
“It means we’ll have to keep on our toes now we’ve made it, we can’t rest on our laurels. We have to keep our standards up.”
The hotel had already been been highly awarded in 2012: TripAdvisor’s Travellers Choice - Best of 2012 in Australia; NSW Tourism Awards Deluxe Accommodation winner 2012; Qantas Awards for Excellence in Environmental Sustainability 2012; Hall of Fame 2012 (winner 3 consecutive years) for deluxe accommodation, Greater Port Macquarie Business Awards.
Mrs Denny said one of the most important things now they have national recognition, is to not “lose the passion”.
Mayor Peter Besseling said the award reflects well on Port Macquarie tourism and our accommodation providers in general but gave his heartiest congratulations to Chris and Trish Denny.
"It does reflect on the hard work and innovation, more particularly, of Chris and Trish Denny, Cr Besseling said.
"Congratulations to them both and everyone who has worked hard at The Observatory to achieve this award."